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2021 RX350 & overwhelmed with the techno gadgets. Long winded!


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We loved our 2015 RX350 and just traded for a new 2021 RX350. Wife loved the green color "Nori Green Pearl" and finally found one in her preferred color but it has just about every optional upgrade imaginable. Approaching age 70 and I must admit I am severely technology compromised. Learning how to use and set all the fancy features is driving me crazy.

Is there a section here or anywhere that gives a tutorial on all the features? It has a 12.3" Navigation touch screen where all the stuff gets displayed on startup and I feel like I'm in the cockpit of a fighter jet. The heads up display in the windshield takes some getting used to but we have been able to get that mostly adjusted. I am playing now with the Intuitive Parking Assist and Cross Traffic Braking but honestly don't even know what all this is. Apple CarPlay is another of the illusive features and we do have Iphones but hardly do any of the functions they have. I am not yet comfortable messing with the navigation system because if I touch the screen while in the map mode it puts some stupid circle target where I touched and apparently it locks the screen there. I have not figured out how to get the target off once I touch the screen unless I turn the car off and restart. I find some of this stuff a bit frustrating and often very distracting while driving so I play while parked in the driveway and searching through the owner's manual for the answers. Smart Stop Technology, Lane Tracing Assist, Road Sign Assist, Pre Collision system with Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and the only button I have not yet found is the Ejection Seat. I am sure we will be much happier once we learn all this new to us gadgetry but it sure is very complicated for the moment. I actually made a recommendation to the dealership that they should give a class taught by one of their techno wizards to all new buyers going through all these fancy features. I never thought I would Not like a car because it has too many options and upgrades.   

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I spent 3-4 days setting up my wife's 2016 RX. I did not read the 900 page Owner's Manuel. You have listed several more options we don't have or want. We definitely like Blindside Monitor & Cross Traffic Alert & Lane Departure Alert. 

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4 minutes ago, Jack Wolff said:

I spent 3-4 days setting up my wife's 2016 RX. I did not read the 900 page Owner's Manuel. You have listed several more options we don't have or want. We definitely like Blindside Monitor & Cross Traffic Alert & Lane Departure Alert. 

I do agree Jack, We would never have requested a lot of these additional features but finding a car in the color we wanted that was not a Hybrid model proved to be impossible. In the end we probably spent close to $4K extra but I do believe with the Microchip shortages the dealer lots are a bit sparse at the moment. I was a bit surprised to see the dealer had dozens of Hybrid models and only a few straight gas ones in stock and the few gas ones he did have were either totally base models or fully optioned.

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I would've opted for the hybrid model after having one for over 16 years and saving thousands of dollars in gas but I can understand those who rarely drive, not needing to spend the additional money for one.

When I bought my 2015 Mazda 3 GT (loaded with electronics - tech package), the salesman spent a good 15 minutes or more explaining many of the most-used features.
This was helpful but of course, I eventually forgot some of what he explained, mostly from lack of need.
You tend to remember what you use often but what you can do is use colored tabs (each with a title) to identify the pages that include instructions about features you use, even occasionally. 
 Then every so often, I'll borrow the book and peruse its contents. Looking at the maintenance book is also very helpful.
 

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"I would've opted for the hybrid model after having one for over 16 years and saving thousands of dollars in gas but I can understand those who rarely drive, not needing to spend the additional money for one."

I suppose this is a very geographical thing depending on where you live and how much your gas costs Vs the price of electricity. The salesman did say he has a very hard time selling the Hybrid models around here in NY but he didn't say if it was because the price was higher or the cost of electricity to charge batteries was the reason.

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They are not plug-in vehicles, so it could be that some buyers may not know that. No external electricity source is required. I am in California and we were given a tax break of $7500 (I believe) when we purchased our RX400h. That compensated for some of the extra cost for the hybrid. Payback for a hybrid like this occurs more quickly as the percentage of city driving increases. 

When I was in New York City, 10 years ago I noticed that many of the taxis were Toyota Camry hybrids. They are excellent choices for taxi companies.

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The RX-350 does not use electricity as it has its own generator.  Alabama actually slaps an extra charge each year for Hybrids to pay the gas tax for the gas the hybrid does not use. So if one drives less than 13,000 miles, they are paying more to the state than they should. Rip Off... I had a Camry Hybrid and loved it.  

The two manuals that come with your RX are mostly easy to read and understand. Most of that stuff is already enabled and you just need to understand what it does. You lean as you drive.  Yes it takes a while but it will all come a lot easier once you need it and use it.  If you don't need it, it does not matter how it works.

I need all of the auto and emergency brake options, Air Conditioned seats, BSM, Radar Cruise, "Show Radar" to get the local Radar Map.  Auto Speed Limit sign Display, Auto Tire Pressure monitor, Garage door home link, USB for tunes...

Don't use Paddle Shifter, Auto steering / Lane monitor, Car Play (good trade-in feature though), Internet connection to a live person. Only time I called to talk to a Nav person, she didn't seem like she was all that happy to hear from me, haha.

And Man, are you right about the Nav system.  Like you say, they screwed that up royally. The Manuals is a bit hard to read on that.  Zoom in and out does not work.

So time to dig out the books and go back to school.

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I could be one of those buyers who do not know what Lexus Hybrid vehicles are! The sales force never explained a thing about them and probably because I was adamant that we had no interest in jacking up our electric bills. Sorry for my ignorance because I had a great F-250 with a diesel engine and when it was 10* I had to plug it in to get it started in the morning and my electric bills doubled. Where I did save on the fuel mileage I lost my !Removed! on the higher cost of diesel fuel, the electric to keep it warm and the 4 gallon oil changes every 3,000 miles. I never did see a single one of the Hybrid RX 350s they had because I was turned against them from friends who did have "Plug-in" vehicles here with nothing but high bills and battery issues. I don't think there is a single plug-in charging station up here in Sullivan County NY.

On a different note, I do think there are some valuable features in the Gas vehicle we did buy, all the bells and whistles once we learn how to use or not use them. On the back country roads the lane assist drift is pretty much useless. The navigation system takes us around the block to get across the street unless we pick the correct route from 3 choices. I am sure we will figure this all out one of these days but wish there was a tutorial about all of this fancy new tech.

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The hybrid RX is actually an RX450h. It averages 29 MPG which is very good for an SUV of this size. Regarding the NAV: I like the 3 routes because each has a label of short or quick. In some cases the longer route is quickest. My Mazda gives me one choice but if I take a different route, it recalculates (as do all NAVs) to guide me via my chosen path.

Plug-in hybrids like the Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime can consume electricity when they are plugged in but unlike a purely electric car, cannot strand the driver once their battery packs are depleted. 
 

Les Lex, I'm with you on use of electronics. Why paddle shifters are included in an SUV is beyond me. I used them in the LC500 I rented a few days ago and they were fun but not so much so that they'd be used every day.

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